Wednesday, March 5

A Guide To Employment In Singapore As A Foreigner: Getting Your Job

In my last post I outlined some of the basics of finding work in Singapore. Arriving at Singapore without a job offer, in the hopes of finding employment is bold move. I would not dissuade any one from trying their luck and finding employment this way, but keep your expectations realistic. To put it simply most employers don't want to bother with you, since they have to go through so much effort to hire a foreigner. It is entirely possible to be success in your endeavour though. If you are an experienced professional it will be significantly easier for you to find a job. For fresh graduates it will be much harder, but still doable. You will need to have the right skills, and ace an interview if you want a job as a foreigner. Let's get to the strategies you'll use to maximise your chances of finding your job.

Test the waters before you arrive

Use sites like JobStreet to scope the job market and assess the demand for your set of skills. Even better; apply for those jobs and see what the response is. You may even get an interview before you arrive in Singapore.

Abuse the visa system to extend your stay

If you are still looking for a job and are worried about your tourist visa expiring, don't fret...much. Leaving the country for a few days then returning will give you an extension on your visa, from 30 - 90 days. Malaysia and Indonesia make for great weekend getaways. I know friends who have done this a couple of times successfully, extending their stay in Singapore by several months. Obviously don't do this too often, or immigration may get smart to your scheme.

Sunday, March 2

A Guide To Employment In Singapore As A Foreigner: The Basics

Singapore is a desirable place to live and a great country to start your career in. All the major corporations exist in Singapore, infrastructure and modern amenities are in abundance. Moving and working abroad will also set your resume apart from the rest. However the Singapore job market is extremely tough as an entry level/fresh graduate foreigner. There are a few hurdles to overcome to finding employment, so let's go over the basics first.

Job market

Singapore's economy is in good health and its considered the high tech centre of South East Asia. The pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries are prominent and many technology companies have bases, like Sony, Philips and Google. Chances are if you have a degree, you can find suitable work in Singapore. Check this page to see what skills are in demand.

Employment Legislation

In Singapore you need a work pass/visa to work. These are typically applied for by the employer on your behalf, if they wish to hire you. Employers have to fill out paper work including justifying to the government why they should hire you over a local Singaporean. This year the government will put into place plans which will make it even harder for foreigners to find work. What does it mean? That employers will tend to ignore you unless your skills are in demand, or you already have a work pass.